Detroit Lions GM, head coach search: Where things stand

Lions lining up interviews

The search for a new Detroit Lions general manager and head coach is heating up.

The Lions have confirmed several candidates to replace former general manager Bob Quinn and former head coach Matt Patricia, as interviews pick up following the end of the NFL regular season.

Lions team president Rod Wood said during a press conference on Tuesday that the team has probably lined up all of the interviews for both positions, but the team won’t confirm candidates until the interview has been completed.

Wood said the Lions would be willing to wait until after the Super Bowl to hire the right candidates, and noted the team would move to hire a head coach before a general manager if the candidate and timing was right.

Here’s where things stand on the Lions search for both positions (as of Jan. 5, 2021):

General manager search

Confirmed interviews:

  • Internal candidates, Kyle O’Brien, Lance Newmark and Rob Lohman interviewed in early December.
  • ESPN analyst Louis Riddick interviewed for the job on Dec. 18.
  • Former Texans GM Rick Smith interviewed the week of Dec. 21.
  • Former NFL executive Scott Pioli interviewed the week of Dec. 21
  • Former Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff interviewed the week of Dec. 21.

Reported interviews and rumors:

  • Lions are reportedly interested in pursuing current Seahawks GM John Schneider.
  • Lions will reportedly interview Saints VP Terry Fontenot, Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes, Saints VP Jeff Ireland and Vikings assistant GM George Patton for the job this week.
  • The Lions are reportedly interested in former Giants GM Jerry Reese.

Head coach search

Confirmed interviews:

  • Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy interviewed for the job the week of Jan. 4.
  • Former Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis interviewed the week of Jan. 4.
  • Interim Lions head coach Darrell Bevell will interview for the job the week of Jan. 4.
  • 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh interviewed the week of Jan. 4.
  • Saints assistant coach Dan Campbell interviewed the week of Jan. 11.

Reported interviews and rumors:

  • Lions will reportedly interview Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.

Detroit Lions season

Detroit finished the 2020-2021 season with a 5-11 record after losing to the Vikings by two points in the finale.

A third straight disastrous season was enough to cost Matt Patricia his job as head coach midway through the season, and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who took over for Patricia, isn’t considered a serious candidate for the full-time job.

Shiela Ford Hamp, the new principal owner and chairwoman of the Lions, is now tasked with hiring a new coach and a general manager to replace Bob Quinn.

The defense is a mess and there are questions surrounding the future of Matthew Stafford this offseason. Top receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones are free agents, and the team has the No. 7 overall pick in the draft.

Lions have No. 7 pick in 2021 NFL Draft: Early look at some targets

About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.